A method for enriching microorganisms with high poly(3-hydroxy)butyrate (PHB) production in non-sterile mixed culture conditions.
Researchers in Dr. Craig Criddle’s lab have developed a method for enriching microorganisms with high poly(3-hydroxy)butyrate (PHB) production in non-sterile mixed culture conditions. PHB is a carbon storage polymer produced by a wide variety of microorganisms and is useful as a commercial thermoplastic. As environmental concerns increase over the production and disposal of petrochemical-based plastic, there is a growing incentive to produce inexpensive alternatives. PHB may provide such an alternative as it is renewable, rapidly biodegradable and non-toxic. However, conventional processes to produce PHB require pure cultures and costly sterilization procedures and thus are not attractive for large scale production. To overcome these limitations, the inventors have developed a method that reliably selects for PHB producing microorganisms from diverse cultures under non-sterile operational conditions over extended time periods.
Bioplastic- alternative to petrochemical-based plastic
No sterilization requirements
Permits use of mixed substrates
Does not limit growth rates or selectivity of PHB producing microorganisms
Well suited for continuous processes and large scale production